Malicious Website Blocking?


I post this just as a heads-up personal viewpoint, and I may be totally wrong but recently I’ve sensed an attempt to add Christian websites to (at least my) anti-virus blocking list.

Lately I’ve been blocked four times when clicking on links elsewhere that were for Christian reports, exposing the actions of false teachers or similar issues. I’m posting this to the blog in case it becomes more of a problem.

What Happens?

My anti-virus program (running on my own computer, not just in the browser) is Sunbelt Vipre, which I consider to be a very good commercial program. I got fed up with Norton and Kaspersky taking over my computer! Vipre has been a really good product so far, and I’ve never had any problems accessing sites. This year however, I’ve been blocked four times, and I have found that other people have suffered the same problems.

When I click to follow a reliable link given to me by a friend, to a page of interest – not a scam site or random search result – I get a blank page with this warning:

VIPRE has determined that the site
you are trying to visit contains
potentially harmful or objectionable content.

The first two times I put it down to a mistake, a false alarm, although I knew there was nothing objectionable (to a Christian at least) on those sites. So I do not have those URLs. But the next two I made a note of:

The Vipre blocking page (seen above) does not allow me to access the page or the website in any way. I would have to open my anti-virus program, find the web blocking menu, and manually add the website address as an “exception” to allow access. Although it can be done, it’s laborious and annoying.

But why are these sites blocked in the first place? Sometimes websites run adverts on their pages (especially those horrible freebie pages) but in that case Vipre ONLY blocks the ADVERT, not the whole page.

It seems to me that people are targetting certain Christian sites and submitting them to anti-virus companies as “objectionable”, and for all I know, my own website might end up in the same category. This kind of opposition is a very far cry indeed from genuine Christian debate and discussion over various doctrinal issues.

Political Blocking

On a forum I found this comment:

It appears there is a concerted effort by some VIPRE users (or perhaps a Sunbelt employee?) to block conservative news sites. A month ago I reported a false block against “World Net Daily” (wnd.com). Now I just discovered another one: http://cnsnews.com/

I understand that Sunbelt has to deal with thousands of “bad” site submissions, but I’m beginning to question the of quality of your internal review process that can allow MAJOR news websites (Wnd.com and Cnsnews.com are not some person’s personal blog sites) to be listed as malicious sites.

I have already submitted this as an erroneous “block”, but I think Sunbelt needs an internal review to determine why these sites are getting into VIPRE’s block lists. Since installing VIPRE Premium, I’ve only encountered two blocked sites and both have been legitimate news sites with a conservative perspective. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Okay, it’s just a minor irritation. Nonetheless it could be the thin end of a wedge. Please report here if the same thing is happening to you!

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14 thoughts on “Malicious Website Blocking?

  1. I am having this problem with a conservative site (I’m researching why I am having it and this page came up) but am also an IT guy. That said; there could be legit problems with the websites that needed to be addressed. I wish Vipre had a log so we could see what happened (was it blocked for malware or for being reported objectionable).

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  2. Hi I am the person behind first plumbline.net their is an issue that if people report the site falsely as a phasing website the people who run anti-virus companies will automatically block them but their are ways around it as this can be down to your firewall that is integrated with your anti-virus software.

    I have checked my site for malicious code as I have over 1000 pages, it could be that now the internet is changing these software no longer recognizes old sites to be valid the website Web of Trust has only two ratings I suspect this was done maliciously as their are always people who have the intent to shut opposing websites down, i am sorry to hear Tricia you are experiencing these problems, some people have contacted me with the same problem that my site is being blocked from their computers.

    When Internet 2 is released we will no longer have freedom of expression and freedom of speech, it is my belief that all websites that operate like my website are being shut down.

    I am also looking into video media and blogs these are other ways of getting the info out in the public.

    Do feel free to contact me

    Miguel Hayworth
    Director First Plumbline Apologetics
    miguel@firstplumbline.net

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  3. This is definitely targeted at Christian sites, and I have contacted Vipre press section concerning this: press@gfi.com – the site I found blocked belongs to a church where the minister has spoken out against gay marriage (currently under debate in the UK) – the site was blocked almost immediately the news story broke. I will update on GFI’s response.

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  4. It is only you antivirus program going OTT. Sometimes a browsers built in protection does this too. I use Chrome and this happens. My advice is get shut of the Snake antivirus and use Microsoft Essentials instead.

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  5. I would strongly suggest that you ditch Windows and install a flavour of Linux. Bodhi or Ubuntu or something.

    You can have a lot more fun, it’s free, no viruses and there are truckloads of applications, all for free.

    There are filtering options as well if you need them to screen out bad stuff from sites.

    I have never regretted waving farewell to Bill Gates. I have all the applications I need and more for free, and I can customise things exactly the way I want. No stupid activation nonsense.

    It also runs much much faster than Windows, and boot up time is really swift.

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    • Dear Zowk, a little bird told me that Linux is “evil” according to his researches, and has secret tracking devices to disclose all details of the users and especially what colour socks they wear. I think you should be afraid, very afraid. Regards, Bill.

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  6. Pingback: Internet Security Software censoring Unfavorable Health Statistics?

  7. I was able to access your first link re T Bentley, however, the second, First Plumbline, was reported with a “poor reputation” by Web of Trust which I have running on my computer.

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  8. I have a similar situation in which I am unable to access International Association of Healing Rooms pages, except their store. I do a lot of exposing, having had come out of that organization, and wonder if I have been blocked.

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  9. I have just googled for the Vipre submission form for telling them about an incorrect block on a website, and I have submitted the two URLs above. I’ll continue to do so, but will this be an increasing problem?

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